Lewis Hamilton reveals McLaren desire after major staff reshuffle

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton at a pre season press conference. Bahrain March 2022

McLaren driver Lando Norris and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at a pre season press conference. Bahrain March 2022

Lewis Hamilton said he hopes to see his old team McLaren return to the top of the grid after their recent technical team restructure.

Hamilton spent 14 years associated with McLaren including six as one of the historic team’s Formula 1 drivers and, although it has been a decade since he left the MTC, he still has fond feelings for his former outfit.

The team is currently not at the level it was with Hamilton, who won the first of his seven World titles at McLaren in 2008.

They finished P5 in 2022 but already look to have a battle on their hands to match that feat in 2023 with the MCL60 yet to show any kind of serious performance.

Behind the scenes at MTC, there has been a major restructure with former technical director James Key’s role being separated into three parts and a suite of new hires including names from Ferrari and Aston Martin.

The results of that move, especially considering some new members are currently serving out their gardening leave at their previous employers, will take some time but Hamilton expressed his hope that it would yield better results for his former team.

“You can’t compare us to McLaren, we’ve won eight world titles in the last 10 years,” Hamilton said when asked if Mercedes were in the same position as McLaren.

“McLaren is like an old home for me, it’s old family so I’m always looking to see where they are and hoping they figure things out and become the team they once were, the team I know them as being in my earlier days and before then, so I hope whatever restructuring they’re doing is good.”

Hamitlon is right to state that it is not fair to compare Mercedes to McLaren but both do have problems that need solving.

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The Silver Arrows are working on a major upgrade package which will be unveiled at Imola as they look to recapture some of the performance that allowed them to win eight Constructors’ titles in a row.

The 38-year-old said he had every faith that the team would be able to get back to their best.

“We’re still a World Championship-winning team, we’ve got amazing people who have been with us on that journey,” he said. “We always need to hold ourselves accountable, each and every single one of us.

“We all need to look at how we go about things and how we do it better.

“There’s not a single person in the team that thinks they have done everything right and that they couldn’t do things better, and everyone’s just focused on correcting that and learning moving forwards collectively, and improving our communication and improving how we process things.

“That’s a huge thing for me, because if you’ve got a group of people who are just super stuck in their ways and don’t change then you will just stay in that area of being non-competitive.